Math teacher shortage article - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-24-2003, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's the link: With No Math Teacher for Semester, H.S. Students Left to Sit

Basically, since there aren't enough math teachers, kid's watch movies during their math period.

This is so sad and there is just so much wrong with this I don't even know where to begin. No wonder so many people homeschool.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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#2 of 9 Old 11-25-2003, 10:37 AM
 
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Moving this to the schooling forum.
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#3 of 9 Old 11-27-2003, 12:17 AM
 
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That is incredible!! YOu'd think the parents could threaten to sue or something just to get the school board to do something. I haven't ever heard of something like this. I wonder if it is common in urban areas. Makes me feel glad to be where I am.

 
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#4 of 9 Old 11-29-2003, 01:57 PM
 
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This is extremely common.


The teacher's Unions keep out anyone who is not fully credentialed, and people who are good at math make more $ in the private sector anyway.

Futhermore, most school districts "save" $ by giving the math teacher positions to coaches who go back to school and take a few math courses or who already have a math/ science background, but are not necessarily prepared to teach math.
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#5 of 9 Old 11-29-2003, 02:06 PM
 
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A little off topic, but a pertinant, personal tale:

My son took a photography class in high school.

The teacher was also a coach, and taught a math, a drafting, and a shop class.

He had in the past taught history and English.

The teacher got in trouble one day with the administration.
He was in the process of breaking up a physical altercation between two boys; in the process, one of the boys hit him, and he reacted by slugging the boy back.

The teacher was put on immediate probation, and was in danger of being fired; however the cost of replacing such a teacher with such a diversified background was prohibitive.

He really was a good teacher, but I am not surprised by the priorities of the School District. The deciding factor was not that he was a good teacher, but that the district would have to hire three teachers to replace him.

$ - mother's milk of politics ( - Senator Moretti, 1967).
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#6 of 9 Old 11-29-2003, 02:14 PM
 
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Another story is the subject of the movie"Stand and Deliver", Jaime Escalante, the subject of the bookThe Best Teacher in America, was summarily run out of LAUSD by the teacher's union who refused to back him up despite the fact that he had revived the math program at a school that was scheduled to have its accreditation pulled.

He was a dedicated math teacher. His original purpose in coming to this country was to work for NASA, but he fell in love with teaching.

Jaime Escalante is a persona non grata with the LAUSD and the teacher's Union there.

When I took Chicano Studies at CSUN, the professor used his name as an expletive.

He also instituted and taught a in a math program at ELACC.

He left after twenty years and went to Sacramento.

I do not know where he is now. He is 73 years old.
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#7 of 9 Old 12-11-2003, 03:46 AM
 
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Yep, there is a math teacher shortage. Where my dh works (he is a teacher) the math teacher has an emergency credential, but hasn't gotten her BA yet, lol. She actually is a great teacher, though, and can teach math. I guess my points are: yes, there is a shortage; and really, schools need to loosen up their requirements if they want to fill the positions- much like California did a few years back. My dh is looking into getting his math cert. so that he can have his pick of jobs!

On the same note.....at my dh's school they haven't had an English teacher all year.....at first the teachers were picking up the slack and each teaching one class; then they hired a teacher who had never taught before, and she quit after two weeks.......they have yet to hire another one, in the meantime a teacher's aide is teaching the English class (and not getting a pay increase to do it!)


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#8 of 9 Old 12-13-2003, 09:10 PM
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My dw is a math teacher with over 15 years professional experience. Despite the much touted and oft moaned about shortage of math teachers, she couldn't get a teaching job for nearly a year after our son was born (she didn't go back to work until he was two..very cool). She eventually got a math position at a private school and she took it. It was her only offer.

What did she discover during her job search process? If you have experience you're a cost-prohibitive hire... it's not that there's a teacher shortage, it's that there's a funding shortage which makes experienced teachers too expensive. However, if you're in college or just out of college, you can get an emergency credential (dw couldn't get one despite 3 months of begging) and a job lickety split. Of course, that's because the districts don't have to pay you anything above poverty so you're a cost-friendly hire.

A thing about credentials... does a course in the US Constitution (which involves the mere memorization of verses and patriotic mythology), a course in chocolate as a drug, and four semesters of "student teaching" (for a professional with 15+ years experience?! why?) really mean a teacher is qualified to teach? We are a culture obsessed with pieces of paper instead of the substantive expertise those papers purport to signify. Experience allegedly used to count. Now it's just an economic barrier. That a school can't find a teacher for their math course is not only immoral and stupid, it's an act of sabotage against our kids because it's a myth... it's that they don't want to pay for good teachers, not that there aren't any around.

When teachers are treated like the professionals most of them actually are, are paid accordingly, the districts funded accordingly, then all the rhetoric about shortages, "education Residents"... I mean "Presidents"... will actually be meaningful. When "credentials" actually mean something real, and professional field experience is seen as economically desirable instead of too-expensive, then we won't have idiotic and baseless problems that shortchange our kids and sabotage the future. It's always curious to me that my wife is paid barely enough to live (for only 10 months a year, the other two we're on our own) while the principal of our dd's public school makes enough to drive a Lexus and take 8 weeks of paid vacation a year. Can we say misdirection of funds? And then there are the parents who say teachers are overpaid?! Another hole for my anger to spill into....

Okay, off my soapbox rant. I get so steamed about this issue because we live it at home.
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#9 of 9 Old 12-13-2003, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dov, thank you for the insightful post. I always sort of wondered if that is some of what is going on since I know a few teachers who are struggling to find jobs.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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